Havas merges design, corporate agencies

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PARIS--France's Havas Advertising, the world's fourth-largestadvertising organization, has merged recently-acquired financial communications specialist W & Cie with a design branch of the Euro RSCG Worldwide network to form a new agency capable of offering a complete range of corporate advertising, communications and brand identity services.

The new agency, baptized W and Co, will merge existing clients, operations and staff from W & Cie, Paris with those of Euro RSCG Design, Paris. W and Co, with a staff of 80, should record gross income of $12 million in 2000.

W and Co will be jointly managed by Denis Gancel and Frederic Messian, co-founders of W & Cie, a 30-person agency which joined Havas last December. The corporate communications and brand identity specialist counts among its clients leading French businesses, including hotel group Accor, computer manufacturer Bull, oil giant TotalFinaElf and telecoms operator Cegetel.

The design element of the new agency will be managed by Simon Bouanich, currently managing director of Euro RSCG Design, a 50-person agency whose clients include auto manufacturer Peugeot, cable TV operator Lyonnaise Cable and retail giant La Samaritaine.

Mr. Bouanich succeeds Jean-Baptiste Danet, president of Euro RSCG Design, who is leaving Havas to pursue ventures outside the group.

Having reorganized W and Co, Havas' Diversified Agencies is expected to unveil a new brand identity for its global design operations -- which include U.K.-based Conran Design Group -- later this year.

Copyright April 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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